Monday, April 30, 2012

One of those days

I am feeling discouraged today.  This week, really.  I keep pushing on, but each day feels less like pushing and more like dragging. 

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Colossians book—it all comes down to love.

This week my kids made a book based on the Biblical book of Colossians.  The focus was on how a follower of Christ would behave and relate to other people.  The devoted a page to each set of instructions and then choose one page each day to give special concentration practicing that behavior.  At the end, they will write a brief report on what it is like to live for Christ.

Well, my daughter jumped the gun a bit and wrote her report at the same time that she wrote the book.  What is it like to live for Jesus?  Her answer: It is hard.  I question Christians even though I’m a Christian.

These are the moments that make life matter!!  We dropped everything when I read that.  She joined me on the couch—she is still small enough to curl her whole self up snugly under my arm.  I asked what questions she has.  Her questions were among the same with which I think all Christians grapple, and which stop unbelievers from accepting the free gift of salvation. 

“First, I don’t understand why God allows us to do such horrible things to each other. Second, I still don’t understand how it is that God gives us choices, but he already knows what we are going to do.  Is that really a free choice, then?”

I listened, recognizing her concerns as among the FAQs of Christianity with a mixture of relief and wonder at how often we come back to them.  I’ve answered these before with both children, so I knew a new answer must be given to satisfy the doubt.  I prayed and one word came to me. 

“The answer may seem a little trite, but it is the same for both questions: love.  God loves us so much he lets us walk away.  God loves us so much that he lets us choose badly—and he loves us so completely that He really does know which choice we will make.”  Without love, we would be nothing more than Legos, playthings moved by mighty hands through the stories of life.  This way, we would be lacking any choice, responsibility, relationship and joy.  Nothing would matter.  Without love, God may have created us, but then would have left.  We would run rampant and no one would bother to love us, watch us or care.  But as it is, there is One Who was there at our conception and Who hasn’t left us since.  Someone so present and attentive will know us pretty well—well enough to know exactly how we will choose without it diminishing that fact that we absolutely did choose.

Her follow-up question was plaintive.  “If we are so messed up, and choose badly even when we know better, why does He even bother?  Why are we here?  Why doesn’t He just take us all off earth?  I just don’t understand.  Why?  Why?  My question is why.”

I wish you could have been there to see the ache in this girl as she struggled to understand her Creator and the meaning of life one random morning and a string of random mornings.  It was amazing.  My heart ached for her, and rejoiced that she cares enough to engage in ideas where she has no answers. 

I told her that she may not like it, but my response would be the same as before: love.  He lets us continue to screw up because He loves us.  He gives us a gazillion chances, an uncountable number of choices, waiting for us to willingly and joyfully call Him Daddy.  I reminded her how I don’t empty her room of all possessions even though she doesn’t keep it clean and how I buy her new things to replaced the ruin ones.  (She nitpicked here a bit, feeling I am harsher than I think I am, but we came to an understanding of discipline and mercy.)  God does the same.  He allows us to experience consequences so that we learn how important our choices are.  He also pours grace over us, sparing us dire results from foolish decisions.  All because He loves us.  We also talked about the Prodigal Son and the verses just before that tell about all heaven rejoicing when even just one person repents and returns to the Lord.  We matter so much to Him.

Isn’t that a great day of school?

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Ooof! Change of plans

airplaneI spent some time on the phone with sisters yesterday to nail down semi-concrete plans for our trip with the kids to visit Diane.  Well, Brian was right!  We just can’t pull it off with $2000.  I have upped our goal and we have decided to fly both ways.  As expensive as that is, it is cheaper than renting a van and driving out, especially considering food and at least one overnight stop on the way.  The whole reason for driving was to hit some cool places on the way, which would only add to the price tag.  So, we fly! 

The other big change is the time.  We were aiming for June, but now it looks like a late July visit is the best choice.  It will give Diane time to heal, us time to save and we can celebrate two cousin birthdays all together.  We sure appreciate your prayers and encouragement as we work to this goal.  It is a lot of fun sharing with you!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Tell a Story Day

family story timeToday is Tell a Story Day.  What a great idea!  I was listening to a friend speak the other night and she shared my own heart when she spoke about meeting God in stories.  That is exactly how I feel.  I have often said that we get facts from non-fiction and Truth from fiction.  The difference between the two is the Truth is applied across the board and is immutable—like God.  Facts…  Well, they’re just facts, limited to circumstances and variables and not always relevant.

It is this belief that makes my loyalty to Sonlight homeschool curriculum so effortless.  Their supplies consist largely of story books.  We learn about history and its facts, but because we learn through stories, we also learn truths that span the breadth of time, space and even culture.  We become friends with servants in Pharaoh's palace, celebrate freedom with Martin Luther and grieve with the boy orphaned by the Black Plague.  We nervously anticipate the outcome of intrigue and strain to catch every clue.  Our understanding is further-reaching because of the individuals we meet—even if they never actually lived.

MP900439449Some of the best stories to tell are from our own lives.  We are reading a book with our young marrieds group that encourages couples to tell and retell the story of their marriage to one another and to their children.  I have always told my kids their birth stories at least on their birthdays, but haven’t been as purposeful about telling about the birth of this family—how Brian and I met, fell in love and forged our lives as one.  To further drive the point home—because that is just how God is—we just watched the movie “We Bought a Zoo.”  There is a family-friendly language option on the disk, and I highly recommend the movie.  This movie includes the story of the family, as well.  As we tell these stories of our personal histories, we are strengthened.  Hearing the stories solidifies a foundation in the minds of all the family members.  It tells us that we have a past, we chose to be together, we have survived hardships, there has been great joy and we will make it through whatever comes next.

There is an old country song with a guy reassuring his girl that they will make it because he comes from “A Long Line of Love.”  He tells her his parents and grands are all still married and this new couple will carry forth the legacy of love.  Oh, how I want that to be in my forward-reaching family!  I think telling the stories will help my kids choose love.

Stories are life. And I am so thankful I get to share stories from the past and present with my kids throughout the week.  Happy story telling!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Tea Party pictures

The girls seemed to have tons of fun at our little party.  The hosts cleaned, decorated and prepared the food before the guests arrived.  Then we ate, played games, ran around outside, danced and had dessert.  Not a bad afternoon at all!

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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Tea Party!

Today we have a Frontier Girls Tea Party scheduled as part of the Etiquette Badge the girls are earning.  It is going to be fun prepping, dining, dancing and playing with 7 sweet girls this afternoon!  Pics tomorrow!

Tidbits from the kids

Max’s riddle:

What has a head and no neck, four legs, but only one foot; covered on side and bare in the other; some are kings, some are queens, some have bars and others have bunks.

 

Madi’s observation:

I think homeschoolers school more than public schoolers.   Because they get spring break, snow days, a break when they are sick, and all summer off. 

Monday, April 23, 2012

Enjoy Those Pine Needles

A while ago we were schooling and talking about how wonderful God is, but how frequently we settle for less.  Worse, we often substitute our own impressions, ideas and plans for God’s.  C.S. Lewis gave a great image of this in The Last Battle when the unbelieving dwarves failed to see the magnificent new world they’d entered.  That scene played no small part in the analogy we created in our discussion.

Imagine you are told to go sit at a table to eat. The table is empty. You think, ‘well there is nothing to eat there,’ so you decide it is smarter to go outside to eat the pine needles in the yard. It may not be as good as what MAY BE at the table, but at least you know where this is coming from and you have control and know there will always be pine needles to eat. On occasion you might go sit at the table. The most delicious, most nutritious, most enticing dishes appear and you eat to full satisfaction. You marvel and rejoice and give praise. But next meal time, you doubt. It won't happen again. What if it doesn't? Then you would look like a fool, sitting expectantly at an empty table. Or you'd rather hold that perfect memory and not test it. Instead, you go back to the 'reliability' of the pine needles. At least you know where they come from.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Belated Birthday

Even though it was Wednesday, I can’t NOT post about my boy’s 13th birthday.  This is a special one and we were so thankful that things worked out for him to hang out with his cousins to celebrate.  We flew home from Texas on his birthday and my dad was keeping Katie’s kids.  We met up at Dad’s house, gathered the kids and went to Fuddruckers for lunch and milkshakes. 

Next was the Coconut Bowl, a favorite of my kids.  Bowling is fun, but my kids prefer the ball and climbing area; that is where they spent most of their time.  They also went through a laser maze, which was a blast to watch.  One at a time, the kids put on their best spy persona to work through a dark room filled with green laser lines to hit a button on the far side of the room.  After making their way back, touching the fewest of the lasers as possible, they hit another button while we cheered their efforts.  Each kid took two turns and would have done more.

While we would have loved to carry on for hours more, it was time to go home.  Katie had to drive over the pass on three hours of sleep and having gotten up at 2am that day.  I was so glad that Brian was there to get us home safely.  On the opposite side of the day than our tradition, I got to grab my big boy and snuggle with him while I told him his birth story.  So glad I didn’t miss out on that!

Happy Birthday, Max!!  I love you so much!

101APPLEIMG_1237 They are all getting so big.

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Saturday, April 21, 2012

Our Trip—the conclusion

101APPLEIMG_1208101APPLEIMG_1209Monday we got back to work.  We got to meet up with Diane’s friend, whom we all cherish and love deeply.  We had lunch at the Freebirds where Cher and her fiancĂ© originally met and then headed back to the house to continue our work.  We finished the living room, the garage, the office/laundry room.  101APPLEIMG_1206Things were looking really good. But there was still a little left.  We checked with the airline and discovered we could change our flight home from Tuesday to Wednesday without a change in the prices.  We called home to see how husbands felt and if childcare was available.  It all worked out, so the decision was made to stay one more day.  Diane went to Bible study and we started in on her bedroom.  After that, at 9 pm, we headed out for dinner at Texas Roadhouse.

We had a mini-adventure with a cricket that managed to jump on every glass and every food item on our table—not to mention on each of us.  Our waitress was perky for so late at not, but not particularly responsive to the fact that Diane had a trapped live cricket under a bread basket and it still galls me that Diane paid full price.  I have to say the food was excellent.  If you get the opportunity to hear either sister tell the story, take them up on it.  They tell it quite well.

 

101APPLEIMG_1211101APPLEIMG_1213Next day we got to play for a longer time with Diane’s friend and we focused on clothes.  The laundry room had both machines running for four or five days straight.  Now Katie was busting her tail getting everything put away.  I petered out and spent a lot of time laughing on Diane’s bed with a trash bag tied in my hair.  I thought I made it look really good.  Why people don’t seriously worry about me more, I don’t know… Jen fixed Diane’s tiara several times.  Katie (and the other sisters) worked most of the time with a dust mask to help combat the dust and animal hair

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101APPLEIMG_1229We spent that night laying on the couch watching TV, soaking up our last evening together.  We didn’t head for bed until after midnight.  We packed and slept a little while, rising just before 4 am to get ready for the flight home.  Austin is certainly bigger than little Reno.  We realized that standing in line for security.  We got through and still had time for Bible.  The flight home was easy and we were thrilled to see family with a giant sign Madi designed to welcome us.  We were home!

Friday, April 20, 2012

The trip to Texas

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101APPLEIMG_1151Our trip was amazing, as only our Lord makes things.  I will include pics to tell the story.

 

After worrying about the weather over Donner Pass, we ended up both making it to Reno at the same time.  We shared a meal at Red Robin.  Katie and I went to our dad’s place while Brian took the kids home.

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We got up early the next morning and breezed through security at the airport, with plenty of time to read the Bible and grab some coffee. 

101APPLEIMG_1157101APPLEIMG_1156The coffee proved to be a necessity when we couldn’t figure out how to even line up!  We saw the numbers available, which didn’t go all the way up to our own seating number.  It didn’t occur to us to look on the other side of the poles…

 

101APPLEIMG_1163101APPLEIMG_1160We flew out just as the sun rose over the overcast city.

 

 

 

101APPLEIMG_1165  Take us to Texas!

 

 

 

 

Here we are:

101APPLEIMG_1176101APPLEIMG_1180Bluebonnets in bloom the whole way between Austin and Harker Heights.

Diane’s house is on the hill in the middle left part of the picture. 

 

101APPLEIMG_1185101APPLEIMG_1186After a delicious burger we got right to work and tackled about half the boxes in the living room before bed.  Next day we hustled through the rest of the living room and got the best Korean food for dinner—or lunch.  I can’t remember now.  hamina hamina!

 

101APPLEIMG_1187101APPLEIMG_1190Saturday night we went to Diane’s church office for family game night.  You know when exhaustion has taken over when I laugh hysterically at absolutely nothing.  But the pictures prove I was not the only punchy game-player there.

 

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Sunday was a day of rest.  We went to church, explored the city with Cher, had some Starbucks for some much needed caffeine.  We split up after the service.  Diane and I took her daughter Cherilyn back to her college while Diane’s son Christopher took Katie to visit our cousin.  We regrouped at the end of the day to watch The Help.

 

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Katie and Cherilyn saying goodbye.

 

 

Cher and I making Katie jealous because we got the better trip.  Proof?  We got to love a buffalo. 

 

 

 

 

 

101APPLEIMG_1199  101APPLEIMG_1205So beautiful green!

 

 

 

Mass murder of the thousands of butterflies that flew in our path.

 

 

 

 

 

More tomorrow.  If I continue, my computer won’t load all these pics!!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

I am home! Thank you.

Well, I had these grand plans to write each day while I was at my sister’s…

That didn’t quite work out.  Before I do tell about our trip, I want to say thank you to everyone who is helping us through this journey.  When we first got the call about a new growth in my sister’s brain, I went to my church for prayer.  That same day, we got $250 from different ‘departments’ in that church!  I was blown away.  I knew my church would pray.  That is what they do best.  But there is so much hurting, so many sick and the economy has hit most of the members pretty significantly.  A financial gift was absolutely unexpected.

But that isn’t where it stopped.  Friends and strangers have donated money, sent encouraging messages and held us up in prayer.  Originally, I considered this situation both private and nearly mundane in nature.  While wholly consuming and important to my family, I thought this was of no concern or interest to anyone else—or of only mild concern while people dealt with their own family dramas.  Time and again, the Lord showed me that people do care and that this matters.

Thank you, all, who helped make this little trip possible.  My dad paid for the plane ticket.  My sister and her husband fed us magnificently.  Diane’s friend came by to keep up morale.  Katie’s friends watched her children so that she could be away for a week.  My husband called in sick a couple of days to be with the kids and friends watched them when he did go to work.  I had another friend who was eager to help with the kids, as well.  How wonderful to have more help than was needed!  Diane’s kids skipped classes to be home to help out.  Cherilyn scoured her brother’s bedroom so that we could sleep there in spite of Katie’s allergies.  Christopher helped with big things and took Katie out to visit our cousin and to a classic Texan dining experience.   

I am sure I am forgetting people.  I remember mostly when falling asleep and thanking our Lord for His greatness.  Our flights were uneventful.  The layover and plane change went smoothly.  David’s days off lined up perfectly to get us to and from the Austin airport.  All our travels in Texas and Reno were safe, in spite of storms.  The kids did well without us, while still missing us.  We got the cleaning done, the unpacking done and playtime to boot.  No one got sick.  Katie’s body resisted the allergies.  The humidity didn’t kill me.  And we are still going to take the kids for our originally planned trip! 

Thank you for your prayers and for caring.  It means so very much to me.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Day 1

Day 1

Things really began the day before. The weather was bad and it looked like Katie's poorly-tired vehicles couldn't safely get her over Donner Pass. It was a pretty windy trip for us on our route, as well. But the Lord is so good and we made it in the end without incident and actually arrived in town close enough to the same time that we had dinner together. I said a tearful goodbye to my family at Red Robin and Katie and I headed to our dad's for the night. 

My dad wasn't there, but our stepmom was; and she was a most gracious host. She loaned Katie a pink shirt so we could match and two jackets so she wouldn't freeze. When she heard our plane was leaving at 6am and it was already 9pm, she behaved as any loving mother would and demanded we all go to bed. 

I am afraid Katie and I responded just as typically in the role of reunited sister friends. We were up past midnight talking and giggling. We even fell asleep once; but I dreamed I'd stepped on a cat's tail, so my leg jerked and woke me up. I told Katie why I had just violently shaken the whole bed, and we just started talking again without missing a beat. Then--so she did not feel left out?--our sister texted us at 2:30am!  

We got out of bed at 4am the real day 1. We got to the airport, thanks to our generous stepmom, and made it through security without a hitch. We took two flights. The first was a little more sedate than the second, which was full of more playful (and awake) people. 

Diane and her husband were waiting for us in Austin and drove us back to their city and a delicious hamburger lunch. 

We got to their home to see that our niece Cherilyn had come home from college a day early and scoured her brother's room so allergy-ridden Katie could sleep in the house. What a good, sweet girl. 

We got right to work tackling boxes. Soon Cher's fiancĂ© showed up, and it was a treat to meet him. We worked until the sun went down then ate Subway and played a new game (Agricola). At midnight I hopped into the shower (the only courteous thing to do after Cher's room cleaning and when sharing a bed) and crashed soon after that. 

They said we got a lot done. I'll have to trust their word because I don't see it yet. Sometimes I felt a little stalled, but tried to keep moving by shifting gears. So, I didn't finish every box I opened, but hopefully in spite of the undone work, I stayed relatively productive. 

I hope today yields even more measurable results!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

This is it!

Today I leave for my dad’s place.  I will meet my little sister there and spend the night.  Early tomorrow we fly for Texas!  We only bought the tickets a week ago, but we have crammed a lot into the last 7 days.  Everyone is so supportive and encouraging; I think we are going to have a great time and get a lot accomplished.

I am frankly a little emotional right now.  I’m not excited about leaving my kids at all.  They are super-great, and it is such a privilege to know them and spend my days with them. 

In this moment I am reminded why I homeschool.  It is not only about academics, spirituality, my responsibility, protection or proper socialization, though those are all monumentally important to me.  The foundational reason for homeschooling my kids is that I love them.  I love them so much and I am achingly aware of how quickly they grow and I don’t want to miss a moment of it.

I was thinking this morning as I got ready about my trusted friends who will be with my kids for some of the time I am gone and I actually got jealous!  Over what?  Breakfast.  Crazy.  I am so thankful that we have friends we trust and are willing to watch the kids.  This whole trip wouldn’t be possible without them.  I think there is also a little worry that my kids will talk their ears off. 

I have to change my thought focus and get packing.  I will soak up some time with the kids and finish my chores and head out for an adventure!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Sisters

Very soon I am going to be with my sisters. It will be strange to be just the three of us with none of our kids around.  I think I can safely say that the last time we did that for any length of time was at least 21 years ago—which happens to be the age of the oldest cousin.  When I set aside my anxiety about leaving my kids and focus on the time with sisters, I get pretty excited. 

Today as I was thinking about it, I imagined choosing a book to read together while we are cleaning and unpacking.  Naturally, The Help came to mind, because I know Diane hasn’t read it.  I had this crazy thought that I should be the one to read it while they clean because I can do a pretty good southern accent.  That is when it struck me.

There is nothing I can do that they cannot do. All the things that set me apart from others when I am out In the world aren't so special when I am with them. Do I have missionary parents? Did I live in Korea?  Can I kick out a sermon in nothin’ flat? Can I teach a roomful of children or adults on just about any topic with no preparation? Can I turn on a southern accent without even thinking about it?  Can I feed a crowd and leave them satisfied?  Can I throw a party sans the usual trappings and still show a good time? Sure. And each sister can do it better than the last.

The funny thing is that, aside from my husband and kids, no one loves me more than my sisters. I can't do anything unique. I am nothing special when I am around them. And yet they love me. I have had friends who've dropped me on my ass because I looked cross-eyed in their direction when there was dust in my eye. But I have had knock-down, drag-out fights complete with vehement (and sincere) cursing with my sisters. I have been one hundred percent wrong more times than I care to count with them. And they love me. They stick with me. They call me and seek me out and speak truth into my heart. Forgiveness is a foregone conclusion.

I can count on my hands the number of people with whom I can be at my worst who will not condemn me. My sisters (and husband and kids) are among the very select few. In fact, these people actually treat me with even more tender love when I am at my ugliest.  It is not the fact that we are related that makes this so.  These people are just really great people, and I happen to be family with some of them.  I see how they treat others, and I am honored to know them. 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Tuesday

We are in preparation mode for my trip coming up later this week.  All week, we schooled like maniacs in the morning and played with friends in the afternoon/evening.  We got to have lunch and colored eggs with friends Friday.  We made resurrection cookies on Saturday night, which is my cherished tradition with our family, along with waffles and dessert for Easter evening.  On Easter Sunday we went to some friends’ house for an egg hunt that blew every other egg hunt my kids have done out of the water.  Our host was staggeringly generous and I was left speechless.  We ate yummy Mexican and played games.  Monday night was Young Marrieds, which is an evening of pure enjoyment for us.

Today we are working for an etiquette badge with the Frontier Girls.  Dance and errands this morning.  We don’t have plans for tomorrow, except that it is my last full day here before heading out.

 

Hope you all have a great week!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Communication

The other day the kids and I were talking about sharing the Gospel with others.  We discussed ways to NOT do it, too.  We can’t approach with condemnation, or work to modify behavior.  Salvation is a heart thing, and the action only follows when the heart has been renewed by the Holy Spirit.  My older sister has actually called it a ‘very dangerous thing’ to change the behavior of unbelievers.  If we do this, they may believe that by ‘being good,’ or at least by ‘not doing bad,’ they have achieved salvation.  We may very well condemn the unsaved with this false teaching.

Our homeschooling curriculum has included many, many missionary biographies.  Our lives have been enriched to witness the work and love of people who’ve given their lives to share the Good News.  We have seen both good and bad examples of how to do this, too. 

One way that really resonates with us is to get to know the people personally before anything else.  What are their legends, beliefs, needs, joys and fears?  As you come to know the people, you point out the commonalities between the two of your beliefs.  You share Truth, and acknowledge that God has written that same Truth on every heart.

This is how Max put it: 

The best way to connect with others is to paint with their own colors.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

He is ALIVE!

Hallelujah!  He is Alive now and forevermore!  And so am I because he paid my debts.  Praise Him, praise Him with your joyful heart.  Be lifted and encouraged.  Be renewed and washed clean.  Open your eyes to glorious Truth and never bother with sorry imitations again.

three crossesThe tomb is empty!

Matthew 28:1-8

Early on Sunday morning, as the new day was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went out to visit the tomb.

 Suddenly there was a great earthquake! For an angel of the Lord came down from heaven, rolled aside the stone, and sat on it. His face shone like lightning, and his clothing was as white as snow. The guards shook with fear when they saw him, and they fell into a dead faint.

Then the angel spoke to the women. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen. Come, see where his body was lying. And now, go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and he is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there. Remember what I have told you.”

 The women ran quickly from the tomb. They were very frightened but also filled with great joy, and they rushed to give the disciples the angel’s message.

Mark 16:1-8

Saturday evening, when the Sabbath ended, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome went out and purchased burial spices so they could anoint Jesus’ body. Very early on Sunday morning, just at sunrise, they went to the tomb. On the way they were asking each other, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?” But as they arrived, they looked up and saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled aside.

 When they entered the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a white robe sitting on the right side. The women were shocked, but the angel said, “Don’t be alarmed. You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead! Look, this is where they laid his body. Now go and tell his disciples, including Peter, that Jesus is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there, just as he told you before he died.”

 The women fled from the tomb, trembling and bewildered, and they said nothing to anyone because they were too frightened.

[Shorter Ending of Mark]

Then they briefly reported all this to Peter and his companions. Afterward Jesus himself sent them out from east to west with the sacred and unfailing message of salvation that gives eternal life. Amen.

Luke 24:1-12

But very early on Sunday morning the women went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. They found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance. So they went in, but they didn’t find the body of the Lord Jesus. As they stood there puzzled, two men suddenly appeared to them, clothed in dazzling robes.

 The women were terrified and bowed with their faces to the ground. Then the men asked, “Why are you looking among the dead for someone who is alive? He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead! Remember what he told you back in Galilee, that the Son of Man[must be betrayed into the hands of sinful men and be crucified, and that he would rise again on the third day.”

 Then they remembered that he had said this. So they rushed back from the tomb to tell his eleven disciples—and everyone else—what had happened. It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and several other women who told the apostles what had happened. But the story sounded like nonsense to the men, so they didn’t believe it. However, Peter jumped up and ran to the tomb to look. Stooping, he peered in and saw the empty linen wrappings; then he went home again, wondering what had happened.

John 20:1-10

Early on Sunday morning, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance. She ran and found Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved. She said, “They have taken the Lord’s body out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!”

 Peter and the other disciple started out for the tomb. They were both running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He stooped and looked in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he didn’t go in. Then Simon Peter arrived and went inside. He also noticed the linen wrappings lying there, while the cloth that had covered Jesus’ head was folded up and lying apart from the other wrappings. Then the disciple who had reached the tomb first also went in, and he saw and believed— for until then they still hadn’t understood the Scriptures that said Jesus must rise from the dead. Then they went home.

Mary sees Jesus

Mark 16:9-11

 After Jesus rose from the dead early on Sunday morning, the first person who saw him was Mary Magdalene, the woman from whom he had cast out seven demons. She went to the disciples, who were grieving and weeping, and told them what had happened. But when she told them that Jesus was alive and she had seen him, they didn’t believe her.

John 20:11-18

 Mary was standing outside the tomb crying, and as she wept, she stooped and looked in. She saw two white-robed angels, one sitting at the head and the other at the foot of the place where the body of Jesus had been lying. “Dear woman, why are you crying?” the angels asked her.

“Because they have taken away my Lord,” she replied, “and I don’t know where they have put him.”

She turned to leave and saw someone standing there. It was Jesus, but she didn’t recognize him. “Dear woman, why are you crying?” Jesus asked her. “Who are you looking for?”

She thought he was the gardener. “Sir,” she said, “if you have taken him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will go and get him.” “Mary!” Jesus said.

She turned to him and cried out, “Rabboni!” (which is Hebrew for “Teacher”).

“Don’t cling to me,” Jesus said, “for I haven’t yet ascended to the Father. But go find my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”

 Mary Magdalene found the disciples and told them, “I have seen the Lord!” Then she gave them his message.

Two believers see Jesus on the road to Emmaus

Mark 16:12-13

 Afterward he appeared in a different form to two of his followers who were walking from Jerusalem into the country. They rushed back to tell the others, but no one believed them.

Luke 24:13-35

That same day two of Jesus’ followers were walking to the village of Emmaus, seven miles from Jerusalem. As they walked along they were talking about everything that had happened. As they talked and discussed these things, Jesus himself suddenly came and began walking with them. But God kept them from recognizing him.

 He asked them, “What are you discussing so intently as you walk along?”

They stopped short, sadness written across their faces. Then one of them, Cleopas, replied, “You must be the only person in Jerusalem who hasn’t heard about all the things that have happened there the last few days.”

 “What things?” Jesus asked.

“The things that happened to Jesus, the man from Nazareth,” they said. “He was a prophet who did powerful miracles, and he was a mighty teacher in the eyes of God and all the people. But our leading priests and other religious leaders handed him over to be condemned to death, and they crucified him. We had hoped he was the Messiah who had come to rescue Israel. This all happened three days ago.

 “Then some women from our group of his followers were at his tomb early this morning, and they came back with an amazing report. They said his body was missing, and they had seen angels who told them Jesus is alive! Some of our men ran out to see, and sure enough, his body was gone, just as the women had said.”

 Then Jesus said to them, “You foolish people! You find it so hard to believe all that the prophets wrote in the Scriptures. Wasn’t it clearly predicted that the Messiah would have to suffer all these things before entering his glory?” Then Jesus took them through the writings of Moses and all the prophets, explaining from all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.

By this time they were nearing Emmaus and the end of their journey. Jesus acted as if he were going on, but they begged him, “Stay the night with us, since it is getting late.” So he went home with them. As they sat down to eat, he took the bread and blessed it. Then he broke it and gave it to them. Suddenly, their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And at that moment he disappeared!

They said to each other, “Didn’t our hearts burn within us as he talked with us on the road and explained the Scriptures to us?” And within the hour they were on their way back to Jerusalem. There they found the eleven disciples and the others who had gathered with them, who said, “The Lord has really risen! He appeared to Peter.”

Jesus Appears to the Disciples

 Then the two from Emmaus told their story of how Jesus had appeared to them as they were walking along the road, and how they had recognized him as he was breaking the bread.

Jesus comes to his disciples

Mark 16:14

Still later he appeared to the eleven disciples as they were eating together. He rebuked them for their stubborn unbelief because they refused to believe those who had seen him after he had been raised from the dead.

Luke 24:36-43bible, cross and lilly

And just as they were telling about it, Jesus himself was suddenly standing there among them. “Peace be with you,” he said. But the whole group was startled and frightened, thinking they were seeing a ghost!

 “Why are you frightened?” he asked. “Why are your hearts filled with doubt? Look at my hands. Look at my feet. You can see that it’s really me. Touch me and make sure that I am not a ghost, because ghosts don’t have bodies, as you see that I do.” 4As he spoke, he showed them his hands and his feet.

 Still they stood there in disbelief, filled with joy and wonder. Then he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he ate it as they watched.

John 20:19-29

That Sunday evening the disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Suddenly, Jesus was standing there among them! “Peace be with you,” he said. As he spoke, he showed them the wounds in his hands and his side. They were filled with joy when they saw the Lord! Again he said, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.” Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven. If you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

Jesus Appears to Thomas

 One of the twelve disciples, Thomas (nicknamed the Twin), was not with the others when Jesus came. They told him, “We have seen the Lord!”

But he replied, “I won’t believe it unless I see the nail wounds in his hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in his side.”

Eight days later the disciples were together again, and this time Thomas was with them. The doors were locked; but suddenly, as before, Jesus was standing among them. “Peace be with you,” he said. Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!”

 “My Lord and my God!” Thomas exclaimed.

Then Jesus told him, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.”

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Update on my sister

I thought there would be no post this day, but I have news to share.  My sister went to the doctor to receive confirmation that all the coordinating doctors agree to wait before doing anything about the unidentified growth in her brain.  My sister really likes this guy, and after hearing about the meeting, I can see why.  She said that while the doctors may all agree, she does not.  And after explaining her (and our) hesitancy to trust a doctor’s choice to ‘wait a while’ in the wake of her having to wait two years for any doctor to take her seriously the first time (and to discover a huge, fingered, malignant tumor growing unchecked in her brain), the doctor agreed that a more aggressive approach was wholly appropriate for a patient so young.  So, my sister will go in for surgery that will be both a treatment and a diagnosis next month. 

Another important update is that the tumor she had was of a type that would always return and, barring unforeseen accidents, would be the eventual cause of her death.  Since her last surgery and radiation, however, a chemotherapy treatment has been discovered/manufactured that will eradicate this tumor completely!!  That is why part of the purpose of the surgery scheduled for next month will be diagnostic.  They will test this new growth to see if it is the same type of tumor.  If so, this will be its last appearance in my sister’s body!  The cool doc actually said, ‘we should do surgery in May so that you can play with your kids all summer.’  Oh, Lord, let it be!

We are still saving money---do you see how close we are??  God has been abundantly gracious through our friends who’ve been so generous.  We are humbled and grateful beyond words.  What a privilege it is to be the one who gets to call or text my sisters with ever-increasing totals.  We all cry and wonder with each other at how it is all coming together.  My husband believes our goal is unrealistically low and prefers we have a better cushion to cover emergencies, but we are so close, I really don’t want to change it. 

We want to get out to Texas with all the kids in early June (after the surgery and the big kids come home from college).  I believe that this will be our final opportunity to be three sisters and seven cousins all together (barring weddings and funerals) and I am feeling quite bitter-sweet about it. 

In the mean time, several sets of parents are planning visits to see Diane immediately before, during and immediately after the surgery.  As the reality of surgery, possible chemotherapy and extended houseguests (but mostly the surgery and chemo) sets in, Diane is becoming overwhelmed and anxious.  She has poured all that anxiety into the state of her house, which is reasonable, seeing as how it is one thing over which she has some reasonable control.  But her state of mind at this point is pretty prohibitive to achieving any measurable level of productivity.  Enter the little sisters!

We are going to fly (thanks to our dad) to Texas this week to get Diane’s home in order and—more importantly—to give her some peace of mind before this main adventure begins.  Tickets are bought, child care is being secured and we are nearly on our way!  We are going to play at being on one of our shared favorite shows, “The Amazing Race.”  Katie and I are going to wear matching shirts and carry backpacks and run everywhere we go announcing we are in a fast-fast-hurry because we are sister-homeschooling-moms.  If we are brave, we might even wear fanny packs!

Your prayers for our families is much appreciated.  Pray for dads and kids left on their own while Katie and I clean.  Pray for traveling and financial mercies.  Pray Diane’s cancer is obliterated.  Pray we actually leave her house in terrific shape that requires effortless maintenance in the face of a month of off-schedule living.  Pray for Diane’s husband and children.  Thanks, everyone, so very much for your love and support.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Holy Week—Friday to Sunday

Jesus is buried.  May you be blessed as you move from today to resurrection.  There will be no post on Saturday.

Matthew 27:57-66

57 As evening approached, Joseph, a rich man from Arimathea who had become a follower of Jesus, 58 went to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. And Pilate issued an order to release it to him. 59 Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a long sheet of clean linen cloth. 60 He placed it in his own new tomb, which had been carved out of the rock. Then he rolled a great stone across the entrance and left. 61 Both Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were sitting across from the tomb and watching.

The Guard at the Tomb

62 The next day, on the Sabbath, the leading priests and Pharisees went to see Pilate. 63 They told him, “Sir, we remember what that deceiver once said while he was still alive: ‘After three days I will rise from the dead.’ 64 So we request that you seal the tomb until the third day. This will prevent his disciples from coming and stealing his body and then telling everyone he was raised from the dead! If that happens, we’ll be worse off than we were at first.”

65 Pilate replied, “Take guards and secure it the best you can.” 66 So they sealed the tomb and posted guards to protect it.

Mark 15:42-47

42 This all happened on Friday, the day of preparation, the day before the Sabbath. As evening approached, 43 Joseph of Arimathea took a risk and went to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. (Joseph was an honored member of the high council, and he was waiting for the Kingdom of God to come.) 44 Pilate couldn’t believe that Jesus was already dead, so he called for the Roman officer and asked if he had died yet. 45 The officer confirmed that Jesus was dead, so Pilate told Joseph he could have the body. 46 Joseph bought a long sheet of linen cloth. Then he took Jesus’ body down from the cross, wrapped it in the cloth, and laid it in a tomb that had been carved out of the rock. Then he rolled a stone in front of the entrance. 47 Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joseph saw where Jesus’ body was laid.

Luke 23:50-56

50 Now there was a good and righteous man named Joseph. He was a member of the Jewish high council, 51 but he had not agreed with the decision and actions of the other religious leaders. He was from the town of Arimathea in Judea, and he was waiting for the Kingdom of God to come. 52 He went to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. 53 Then he took the body down from the cross and wrapped it in a long sheet of linen cloth and laid it in a new tomb that had been carved out of rock. 54 This was done late on Friday afternoon, the day of preparation, as the Sabbath was about to begin.

55 As his body was taken away, the women from Galilee followed and saw the tomb where his body was placed. 56 Then they went home and prepared spices and ointments to anoint his body. But by the time they were finished the Sabbath had begun, so they rested as required by the law.

John 19:31-42

31 It was the day of preparation, and the Jewish leaders didn’t want the bodies hanging there the next day, which was the Sabbath (and a very special Sabbath, because it was the Passover). So they asked Pilate to hasten their deaths by ordering that their legs be broken. Then their bodies could be taken down. 32 So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the two men crucified with Jesus. 33 But when they came to Jesus, they saw that he was already dead, so they didn’t break his legs. 34 One of the soldiers, however, pierced his side with a spear, and immediately blood and water flowed out. 35 (This report is from an eyewitness giving an accurate account. He speaks the truth so that you also can believe.) 36 These things happened in fulfillment of the Scriptures that say, “Not one of his bones will be broken,” 37 and “They will look on the one they pierced.”

The Burial of Jesus

38 Afterward Joseph of Arimathea, who had been a secret disciple of Jesus (because he feared the Jewish leaders), asked Pilate for permission to take down Jesus’ body. When Pilate gave permission, Joseph came and took the body away. 39 With him came Nicodemus, the man who had come to Jesus at night. He brought about seventy-five pounds of perfumed ointment made from myrrh and aloes. 40 Following Jewish burial custom, they wrapped Jesus’ body with the spices in long sheets of linen cloth. 41 The place of crucifixion was near a garden, where there was a new tomb, never used before. 42 And so, because it was the day of preparation for the Jewish Passover and since the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there.

Holy Week—Friday

Jesus is killed on the cross.

Matthew 27:31-56

31 When they were finally tired of mocking him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him again. Then they led him away to be crucified.

The Crucifixion

32 Along the way, they came across a man named Simon, who was from Cyrene, and the soldiers forced him to carry Jesus’ cross. 33 And they went out to a place called Golgotha (which means “Place of the Skull”). 34 The soldiers gave him wine mixed with bitter gall, but when he had tasted it, he refused to drink it.

35 After they had nailed him to the cross, the soldiers gambled for his clothes by throwing dice. 36 Then they sat around and kept guard as he hung there. 37 A sign was fastened above Jesus’ head, announcing the charge against him. It read: “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.” 38 Two revolutionaries were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left.

39 The people passing by shouted abuse, shaking their heads in mockery. 40 “Look at you now!” they yelled at him. “You said you were going to destroy the Temple and rebuild it in three days. Well then, if you are the Son of God, save yourself and come down from the cross!”

41 The leading priests, the teachers of religious law, and the elders also mocked Jesus. 42 “He saved others,” they scoffed, “but he can’t save himself! So he is the King of Israel, is he? Let him come down from the cross right now, and we will believe in him! 43 He trusted God, so let God rescue him now if he wants him! For he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” 44 Even the revolutionaries who were crucified with him ridiculed him in the same way.

The Death of Jesus

45 At noon, darkness fell across the whole land until three o’clock. 46 At about three o’clock, Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” which means “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”

47 Some of the bystanders misunderstood and thought he was calling for the prophet Elijah. 48 One of them ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, holding it up to him on a reed stick so he could drink. 49 But the rest said, “Wait! Let’s see whether Elijah comes to save him.”

50 Then Jesus shouted out again, and he released his spirit. 51 At that moment the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook, rocks split apart, 52 and tombs opened. The bodies of many godly men and women who had died were raised from the dead. 53 They left the cemetery after Jesus’ resurrection, went into the holy city of Jerusalem, and appeared to many people.

54 The Roman officer and the other soldiers at the crucifixion were terrified by the earthquake and all that had happened. They said, “This man truly was the Son of God!”

55 And many women who had come from Galilee with Jesus to care for him were watching from a distance. 56 Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary (the mother of James and Joseph), and the mother of James and John, the sons of Zebedee.

Mark 15:20-46

20 When they were finally tired of mocking him, they took off the purple robe and put his own clothes on him again. Then they led him away to be crucified.

The Crucifixion

21 A passerby named Simon, who was from Cyrene, was coming in from the countryside just then, and the soldiers forced him to carry Jesus’ cross. (Simon was the father of Alexander and Rufus.) 22 And they brought Jesus to a place called Golgotha (which means “Place of the Skull”). 23 They offered him wine drugged with myrrh, but he refused it.

24 Then the soldiers nailed him to the cross. They divided his clothes and threw dice to decide who would get each piece. 25 It was nine o’clock in the morning when they crucified him. 26 A sign announced the charge against him. It read, “The King of the Jews.” 27 Two revolutionaries were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left.

29 The people passing by shouted abuse, shaking their heads in mockery. “Ha! Look at you now!” they yelled at him. “You said you were going to destroy the Temple and rebuild it in three days. 30 Well then, save yourself and come down from the cross!”

31 The leading priests and teachers of religious law also mocked Jesus. “He saved others,” they scoffed, “but he can’t save himself! 32 Let this Messiah, this King of Israel, come down from the cross so we can see it and believe him!” Even the men who were crucified with Jesus ridiculed him.

The Death of Jesus

33 At noon, darkness fell across the whole land until three o’clock. 34 Then at three o’clock Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”

35 Some of the bystanders misunderstood and thought he was calling for the prophet Elijah. 36 One of them ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, holding it up to him on a reed stick so he could drink. “Wait!” he said. “Let’s see whether Elijah comes to take him down!”

37 Then Jesus uttered another loud cry and breathed his last. 38 And the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom.

39 When the Roman officer who stood facing him saw how he had died, he exclaimed, “This man truly was the Son of God!”

40 Some women were there, watching from a distance, including Mary Magdalene, Mary (the mother of James the younger and of Joseph), and Salome. 41 They had been followers of Jesus and had cared for him while he was in Galilee. Many other women who had come with him to Jerusalem were also there.

The Burial of Jesus

42 This all happened on Friday, the day of preparation, the day before the Sabbath. As evening approached, 43 Joseph of Arimathea took a risk and went to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. (Joseph was an honored member of the high council, and he was waiting for the Kingdom of God to come.) 44 Pilate couldn’t believe that Jesus was already dead, so he called for the Roman officer and asked if he had died yet. 45 The officer confirmed that Jesus was dead, so Pilate told Joseph he could have the body. 46 Joseph bought a long sheet of linen cloth. Then he took Jesus’ body down from the cross, wrapped it in the cloth, and laid it in a tomb that had been carved out of the rock. Then he rolled a stone in front of the entrance.

Luke 23:26-49

26 As they led Jesus away, a man named Simon, who was from Cyrene, happened to be coming in from the countryside. The soldiers seized him and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus. 27 A large crowd trailed behind, including many grief-stricken women. 28 But Jesus turned and said to them, “Daughters of Jerusalem, don’t weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. 29 For the days are coming when they will say, ‘Fortunate indeed are the women who are childless, the wombs that have not borne a child and the breasts that have never nursed.’ 30 People will beg the mountains, ‘Fall on us,’ and plead with the hills, ‘Bury us.’ 31 For if these things are done when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?”

32 Two others, both criminals, were led out to be executed with him. 33 When they came to a place called The Skull, they nailed him to the cross. And the criminals were also crucified—one on his right and one on his left.

34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.” And the soldiers gambled for his clothes by throwing dice.

35 The crowd watched and the leaders scoffed. “He saved others,” they said, “let him save himself if he is really God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.” 36 The soldiers mocked him, too, by offering him a drink of sour wine. 37 They called out to him, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” 38 A sign was fastened above him with these words: “This is the King of the Jews.”

39 One of the criminals hanging beside him scoffed, “So you’re the Messiah, are you? Prove it by saving yourself—and us, too, while you’re at it!”

40 But the other criminal protested, “Don’t you fear God even when you have been sentenced to die? 41 We deserve to die for our crimes, but this man hasn’t done anything wrong.” 42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.”

43 And Jesus replied, “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

The Death of Jesus

44 By this time it was about noon, and darkness fell across the whole land until three o’clock. 45 The light from the sun was gone. And suddenly, the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn down the middle. 46 Then Jesus shouted, “Father, I entrust my spirit into your hands!” And with those words he breathed his last.

47 When the Roman officer overseeing the execution saw what had happened, he worshiped God and said, “Surely this man was innocent.” 48 And when all the crowd that came to see the crucifixion saw what had happened, they went home in deep sorrow. 49 But Jesus’ friends, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance watching.

John 19:17-30

17 Carrying the cross by himself, he went to the place called Place of the Skull (in Hebrew, Golgotha). 18 There they nailed him to the cross. Two others were crucified with him, one on either side, with Jesus between them. 19 And Pilate posted a sign on the cross that read, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.” 20 The place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and the sign was written in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek, so that many people could read it.

21 Then the leading priests objected and said to Pilate, “Change it from ‘The King of the Jews’ to ‘He said, I am King of the Jews.’”

22 Pilate replied, “No, what I have written, I have written.”

23 When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they divided his clothes among the four of them. They also took his robe, but it was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom. 24 So they said, “Rather than tearing it apart, let’s throw dice for it.” This fulfilled the Scripture that says, “They divided my garments among themselves and threw dice for my clothing.” So that is what they did.

25 Standing near the cross were Jesus’ mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary (the wife of Clopas), and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus saw his mother standing there beside the disciple he loved, he said to her, “Dear woman, here is your son.” 27 And he said to this disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from then on this disciple took her into his home.

The Death of Jesus

28 Jesus knew that his mission was now finished, and to fulfill Scripture he said, “I am thirsty.” 29 A jar of sour wine was sitting there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put it on a hyssop branch, and held it up to his lips. 30 When Jesus had tasted it, he said, “It is finished!” Then he bowed his head and released his spirit.

Holy Week—Friday morning

Jesus is judged to die by Pilate

Matthew 27:11-26

11 Now Jesus was standing before Pilate, the Roman governor. “Are you the king of the Jews?” the governor asked him.

Jesus replied, “You have said it.”

12 But when the leading priests and the elders made their accusations against him, Jesus remained silent. 13 “Don’t you hear all these charges they are bringing against you?” Pilate demanded. 14 But Jesus made no response to any of the charges, much to the governor’s surprise.

15 Now it was the governor’s custom each year during the Passover celebration to release one prisoner to the crowd—anyone they wanted. 16 This year there was a notorious prisoner, a man named Barabbas. 17 As the crowds gathered before Pilate’s house that morning, he asked them, “Which one do you want me to release to you—Barabbas, or Jesus who is called the Messiah?” 18 (He knew very well that the religious leaders had arrested Jesus out of envy.)

19 Just then, as Pilate was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent him this message: “Leave that innocent man alone. I suffered through a terrible nightmare about him last night.”

20 Meanwhile, the leading priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas to be released and for Jesus to be put to death. 21 So the governor asked again, “Which of these two do you want me to release to you?”

The crowd shouted back, “Barabbas!”

22 Pilate responded, “Then what should I do with Jesus who is called the Messiah?”

They shouted back, “Crucify him!”

23 “Why?” Pilate demanded. “What crime has he committed?”

But the mob roared even louder, “Crucify him!”

24 Pilate saw that he wasn’t getting anywhere and that a riot was developing. So he sent for a bowl of water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this man’s blood. The responsibility is yours!”

25 And all the people yelled back, “We will take responsibility for his death—we and our children!”

26 So Pilate released Barabbas to them. He ordered Jesus flogged with a lead-tipped whip, then turned him over to the Roman soldiers to be crucified.

Mark 15:1-5

Very early in the morning the leading priests, the elders, and the teachers of religious law—the entire high council—met to discuss their next step. They bound Jesus, led him away, and took him to Pilate, the Roman governor.

2 Pilate asked Jesus, “Are you the king of the Jews?”

Jesus replied, “You have said it.”

3 Then the leading priests kept accusing him of many crimes, 4 and Pilate asked him, “Aren’t you going to answer them? What about all these charges they are bringing against you?” 5 But Jesus said nothing, much to Pilate’s surprise.

Luke 23:1-25

Then the entire council took Jesus to Pilate, the Roman governor. 2 They began to state their case: “This man has been leading our people astray by telling them not to pay their taxes to the Roman government and by claiming he is the Messiah, a king.”

3 So Pilate asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?”

Jesus replied, “You have said it.”

4 Pilate turned to the leading priests and to the crowd and said, “I find nothing wrong with this man!”

5 Then they became insistent. “But he is causing riots by his teaching wherever he goes—all over Judea, from Galilee to Jerusalem!”

6 “Oh, is he a Galilean?” Pilate asked. 7 When they said that he was, Pilate sent him to Herod Antipas, because Galilee was under Herod’s jurisdiction, and Herod happened to be in Jerusalem at the time.

8 Herod was delighted at the opportunity to see Jesus, because he had heard about him and had been hoping for a long time to see him perform a miracle. 9 He asked Jesus question after question, but Jesus refused to answer. 10 Meanwhile, the leading priests and the teachers of religious law stood there shouting their accusations. 11 Then Herod and his soldiers began mocking and ridiculing Jesus. Finally, they put a royal robe on him and sent him back to Pilate. 12 (Herod and Pilate, who had been enemies before, became friends that day.)

13 Then Pilate called together the leading priests and other religious leaders, along with the people, 14 and he announced his verdict. “You brought this man to me, accusing him of leading a revolt. I have examined him thoroughly on this point in your presence and find him innocent. 15 Herod came to the same conclusion and sent him back to us. Nothing this man has done calls for the death penalty. 16 So I will have him flogged, and then I will release him.”

18 Then a mighty roar rose from the crowd, and with one voice they shouted, “Kill him, and release Barabbas to us!” 19 (Barabbas was in prison for taking part in an insurrection in Jerusalem against the government, and for murder.) 20 Pilate argued with them, because he wanted to release Jesus. 21 But they kept shouting, “Crucify him! Crucify him!”

22 For the third time he demanded, “Why? What crime has he committed? I have found no reason to sentence him to death. So I will have him flogged, and then I will release him.”

23 But the mob shouted louder and louder, demanding that Jesus be crucified, and their voices prevailed. 24 So Pilate sentenced Jesus to die as they demanded. 25 As they had requested, he released Barabbas, the man in prison for insurrection and murder. But he turned Jesus over to them to do as they wished.

John 18:28-19:16

Then the entire council took Jesus to Pilate, the Roman governor. 2 They began to state their case: “This man has been leading our people astray by telling them not to pay their taxes to the Roman government and by claiming he is the Messiah, a king.”

3 So Pilate asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?”

Jesus replied, “You have said it.”

4 Pilate turned to the leading priests and to the crowd and said, “I find nothing wrong with this man!”

5 Then they became insistent. “But he is causing riots by his teaching wherever he goes—all over Judea, from Galilee to Jerusalem!”

6 “Oh, is he a Galilean?” Pilate asked. 7 When they said that he was, Pilate sent him to Herod Antipas, because Galilee was under Herod’s jurisdiction, and Herod happened to be in Jerusalem at the time.

8 Herod was delighted at the opportunity to see Jesus, because he had heard about him and had been hoping for a long time to see him perform a miracle. 9 He asked Jesus question after question, but Jesus refused to answer. 10 Meanwhile, the leading priests and the teachers of religious law stood there shouting their accusations. 11 Then Herod and his soldiers began mocking and ridiculing Jesus. Finally, they put a royal robe on him and sent him back to Pilate. 12 (Herod and Pilate, who had been enemies before, became friends that day.)

13 Then Pilate called together the leading priests and other religious leaders, along with the people, 14 and he announced his verdict. “You brought this man to me, accusing him of leading a revolt. I have examined him thoroughly on this point in your presence and find him innocent. 15 Herod came to the same conclusion and sent him back to us. Nothing this man has done calls for the death penalty. 16 So I will have him flogged, and then I will release him.”

18 Then a mighty roar rose from the crowd, and with one voice they shouted, “Kill him, and release Barabbas to us!” 19 (Barabbas was in prison for taking part in an insurrection in Jerusalem against the government, and for murder.) 20 Pilate argued with them, because he wanted to release Jesus. 21 But they kept shouting, “Crucify him! Crucify him!”

22 For the third time he demanded, “Why? What crime has he committed? I have found no reason to sentence him to death. So I will have him flogged, and then I will release him.”

23 But the mob shouted louder and louder, demanding that Jesus be crucified, and their voices prevailed. 24 So Pilate sentenced Jesus to die as they demanded. 25 As they had requested, he released Barabbas, the man in prison for insurrection and murder. But he turned Jesus over to them to do as they wished.